Police group blames George Floyd for his own death in 'tactless' fundraising email

An organization for retired Philadelphia police officers is apologizing after it sent a fundraising email that blamed George Floyd for his own death while defending former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Protect Our Police PAC this week blamed a third-party marketing firm for sending out a "tactless" fundraising email on its behalf that falsely claimed "George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19 and was high on a lethal dose of fentanyl when he died."

The email also claimed that Chauvin, who infamously knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes as he was dying, was being "trial for a murder he did not commit."

Protect Our Police President Nick Gerace denounced the email and said that Chauvin was not the kind of officer his organization was looking to protect.

"Chauvin's actions were examples of bad policing and poor training that directly caused George Floyd's death, in my opinion," he said. "The kind of messaging and innuendo included in that single email is not in line with our mission and I vehemently denounce it."

Carlos Vega, a former veteran homicide prosecutor who is challenging progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in an upcoming Democratic primary, distanced himself from the Protect Our Police PAC and said he would not longer seek their endorsement.

"The views expressed in this email run counter to my beliefs and my record," Vega said. "George Floyd was murdered. And we need to hold bad cops accountable, not make excuses for their behavior."